Saturday, February 21, 2015

Art Therapy Lesson 8: Create a mind map

For this week's lesson I wanted to focus on what's running through my head. I have so many things running through my mind and I feel like these thoughts Mind maps.

What are they?
A mind map is a visual map that can be used to organize thoughts. I find it to be especially helpful as I am more of a visual learner. An idea or theme is placed in the middle and all your "thoughts" about the idea are placed around it using images, words, or whatever you want.

How can they help?
It can help lessen stress by getting these racing thoughts on paper and organizing them in a brainstorming way. You can use mind maps for studying, organizing thoughts or to push your creative limits. For example, say you want to create a new painting but are at a loss of what to paint. Write the word inspiration in the middle and just branch out all the things that you think of associated with that. One branch could be paint and from there just expand.

My mind map started out with the word goals in the center. Goals are what runs my life. I am constantly checking in on what goals I have and how I want to grow. Without goals I don't think I could function. I always need to be learning and/or growing. I think for me I am always evolving. I think I have always been this way. There is always something else I should be doing. It isn't necessarily something better, just more. We only live one life and I want to live my to the fullest that I can. 

So with goals as my focus I branched out some of the biggest areas that I am focused on:
 1) Move to California
 2) health
 3) me
 4) work.

Move to California. For me, these days my mind is pretty much focused around my move to California. It is stressful in that we don't know when we are going and we will not know until my husband finds a job. This not knowing when has certainly created an anxiety around the move. It impacts a lot like when do we start to get rid of our things, how do I plan to do it, and much more. We also have to find somewhere to live (eventually as we will be staying with my in laws until we find somewhere). It is a really big move. A girlfriend of mine moved to California several years ago. I spoke to her just yesterday and I apologized on how unsupportive I must of been when she was moving. I didn't realize how much of an emotional journey it was and must of been for her. I mean, I am crying over getting rid of some of my useless junk that I have been hoarding in my junk drawer. No, not crying like literal sobbing over a deck of playing cards that had a few cards missing that I keep because I could somehow use them as a scrapbooking embellishment but never got around to doing it. I told her how I wish I could have been more there for her. Looking back at it I should of helped her out more, but as the saying goes "when you know better you do better".

Health. I will be completely honest here. I complain about my weight and how I look since having my baby, but I am totally falling into that area where I blame my weight on my almost 2 year old child. At some point I have to take responsibility for my weight. The other day I was talking to my friend and bitching about our weight as we often do. I told her that I didn't know why it was that I was overweight. I told her that I ate fine, but the weight never went down. As I was saying the words I meant it. I really thought I ate fine. I cook most of the meals we eat and we only eat out about three meals a week. The next day I was determined to change my weight. I started using a food tracker app (itracker) and after the first day I was shocked. I was eating pretty much a lot and a lot of bad things. When my daughter doesn't finish her meal, I will eat it. When my husband bakes cookies I will eat some. I began to notice that I really wasn't eating as "healthy" as I thought I was. So, on February 16, I started to change how I ate. It hasn't been that long and I already lost three pounds! I will be added some exercise once my T25 system comes in the mail.

Me. This is an area that makes me sad and happy at the same time. Let me explain. I love being a mom. It is amazing to watch a little person who was in your belly grow and become a talking little human. It is great. I love it. At the same time, I miss the old me. I miss how I was carefree. I miss buying clothes and shopping at Sephora. Through this mind mapping I realized that becoming a mom didn't change who I was it was not working that did that. The lose of income for me was a big loss of independence.

Work. This is the section that I have not finished yet. This is the area in my life that is lacking and I want so badly to fill that void again. I started working on this blog and writing consistently in January. I also just posted some stuff on my Etsy. I will say that doing that has definitely created a shift in how I feel over all. Working for me was not only financial, it was empowering.

I am still working on my mind map. It has been therapeutic getting it out on paper and less stressful then I thought it would be. To be honest, it pretty much is my vision board expanded. It has all the goals that I wanted for the year, only difference is that I have added steps that I need to take in order to get to those goals. It has helped me to identify what is important for me and what I should be most focused on.

Once it is done I will be sure to share the finished map.

Happy Mapping!


  1. What an awesome idea, I learned mind maps in a study course I was just doing, but only used it for that. I need to add it to every day life.

  2. I had used it too in college, but found such a therapeutic use of it here. Thx for stopping by :)